Friday, August 21, 2015

RA-nniversary #2

This Sunday marks the 2 year anniversary of my RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis) diagnosis.  In some ways, my diagnosis still feels fresh; in other ways, it feels like a distant memory.  I've certainly come far in the last 2 years and am so thankful that my disease is managed.  I had a surreal moment of reflection after my triathlon last Sunday. I thought back on my first appointment with a rheumatologist.  The waiting room had all sorts of depressing magazines about disease management and such, but in the pile of magazines, I found one that featured an elite triathlete with RA.  At the time, I was in a boot and in so much pain so it was hard to believe that maybe I'd consider myself an athlete again.  But I remember feeling a sense of hope when I read the story about her.

Now, 2 years later I've completed my first triathlon and I can confidently say that I am an athlete again.  I'm training for a marathon which is something I thought I'd never have the opportunity to do again.  I'm pain free, for the most part, and thriving.

But of course, it isn't all sunshine and rainbows.  I hate how many bottles of pills reside on my counter.  I hate that I get so many prescription refill reminders from Target that I can't keep track of which request is for which medication.  And I really hate Monday nights when I have to give myself my weekly injection.  On those nights I try to remind myself that a minute of discomfort is worth being pain free but I still mope quite a bit and usually have to find some sort of reward - usually a sweet of some sort.  I hate that aches and pains that wouldn't get much of a second thought plant the seed of worry over whether that pain is the first sign of a flare up.

And yet - in the grand scheme of things - life is good.  Life is really, really good. I try to remind myself that while I was unlucky to get diagnosed with this chronic disease, I am lucky that it was caught so early and is being managed so well.  Some days it's hard to think of myself as "lucky," but I know I am.

The past year was an uneventful one for me health-wise and I just hope and pray that I have many more years like this to come!

17 comments:

Karen said...

I think it's telling that I somehow managed to forget you have RA - you've been so active and happy lately! It's great that you're able to tackle your goals without any adverse health problems. :)

katielookingforward said...

Yep...I forgot too! My brother has been on medication his whole life, so I understand the difficulty of managing meds, but hopefully the good moments make up for these trials.

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

I'm not sure if you're into natural remedies at all ... or a combination of natural remedies with medications ... but a good friend of mine with the same diagnosis has used good quality turmeric pills for a lot of relief from her arthritis.

Nora said...

I know how important it is to you that you are able to maintain an active, healthy lifestyle and boy have you! I'm so happy for you and proud of you for managing your RA, keeping your chin up and going after what you want (and need). You're an inspiration and I'm proud to call you a friend. Can't wait to see what the next year holds for you in terms of marathons and races! <3

suki said...

You've done such an amazing job staying active, even if you have to dedicate the headspace to manage medication and all of that. Triathlons, marathons, RA, nothing's stopping you! :)

Linda said...

Congrats on achieving and working towards an active life style despite your diagnosis. Another great thing is (I'm one tracked mind these days) is having health insurance to cover the medicine! I do feel badly for all the maintenance and work you had to do. :( Hugs!

Amber said...

Wow I cannot believe it has been two years since your diagnosis. I remember that time very well also. It seemed like such a bad year for you health-wise that first year but I agree in the second year sometimes I forget you even have RA!! I'm sure having all those prescriptions to deal with every month is very annoying but I'm super glad for you as well that you caught it early and have been able to manage it and continue to do activities you love!

Stevie said...

You are an inspiration! It's so good to hear that you've found the treatment that works for you and allows you to pursue the things you really want to do. I also appreciate your honesty about the frustrations you deal with and that you don't always have good days. Best of luck to you in your marathon training!

Gracie said...

Love your outlook, Lisa. It's not easy living with a chronic disease, but you are truly thriving.

Becky said...

I was just thinking about this the other day - how far you've come and how you were afraid you'd never be able to run again much less be a triathlete! SO proud of you!

Jeanie said...

Lisa, I hold you as one of my role models for facing a disease head on, staring it in the face and saying "Not so fast, you old R.A. I'm going to be in charge." I'm thrilled you have soared above the limitations and faced the challenges -- the daily meds and all -- with a grace to which we should all aspire!

San said...

Considering that you're taking medication and even have to give yourself injections, this diagnosis has impacted your daily life big time.... that makes me even more happy to hear that you've been able to manage it so well and that you're able to live an active lifestyle despite the diagnosis! I hope that you'll continue to do so well on the medication! It seems to be working!

Unknown said...

I love that you are training for a marathon!!! You truly are so amazing to me!!! Big hugs!!!

Janet said...

I didn't know you had RA and I already thought you were inspirational and now I know you are so much more! I'm sorry you have bad days and frustrations caused by your disease but I hope they are few. Best of luck with the marathon training!

Marlys said...

Compared to two years ago, you have climbed a mountain! It is great to see you run and work out and achieve such success! Keep on climbing!

Cherry Blossoms said...

I am so happy that your pain has been managed so well. You are defiantly a source of strength and yes, fingers crossed for another year of good health.

Abby said...

I'm so glad this year has gone so well for you. I will never forget the day we found out you had RA. Now I am so grateful you've got it under control early - before any long-term damage was done to your joints. I pray for you always, and am so happy to see you thrive!!